Maintaining peace between your employees can be a complicated mission.
Wouldn’t it be ideal if everyone could just get along all of the time? With such a variety of personalities working in one organization and people spending a significant amount of their time at work, conflicts between co-workers are inevitable. It could be a one-off disagreement that has never been resolved, such as, “They shamelessly stole my client and I missed my target!”... Or a full-on personality clash with (for example) opposing views on how to move a project forward.
Left unaddressed, these situations may escalate and prove troublesome for the people concerned, as well as the broader organization.
To keep the peace between your employees, you’ll want to help them navigate through these bumps in the road and take a proactive approach to manage conflict. Knowing what to look out for can help you resolve issues early on and prevent any further damage. In addition to this, a structured reporting line and well-trained leadership team can help you to successfully handle conflict in your workplace. This will free you up to focus your attention on more significant business decisions.
So, what are the signs of conflict that you should look out for?
If an employee repeatedly blames someone else for their work not being completed on time, it could suggest that there may be an underlying reason causing said accusations.
The effect of disagreement between employees can spread further from just a few people and affect the fuller team. If you notice a difference in someone’s confidence, it could indicate disagreement.
A heated exchange between employees in a team meeting can be the result of tensions rising. This can be an awkward situation for all present and suggests a separate conversation is needed as soon as possible.
Ongoing discord can lead to stress and a heightened level of sickness absence. If an employee is struggling with a stressful situation at work and can’t see a way of resolving it, they may even stop coming to work altogether.
Equipped with some knowledge on the common signs of conflict, what can you and your managers do to resolve it?
There are many ways to resolve the problems between your employees, such as:
- Private informal catch ups with specific employees. These provide an opportunity to talk in confidence. You can address progress and allow time to discuss any other business that may need to be addressed, such as motivation or teamwork.
If a complaint about a co-worker has arisen from private informal catch ups, you will want to investigate the issue before taking immediate action. Speak with the other employee(s) in question to find out every side of the story before aiming to find a solution with all parties present.
You might find that some difficult conversations arise during this process. Having a relevant manager or senior team member sit in can help to ease the tension.
Policies are there to protect your company and your employees. So, it’s a good idea to have a system detailing the management of conflict in your business. This will inform employees of formal processes that may be initiated to resolve the dispute.
Team building exercises bring your team together and can be an excellent way to dissolve or prevent tension. Using Myers-Briggs profiling is also a brilliant way of developing understanding between groups.
Even after implementing many plans and using different techniques you may not be able to find perfect solutions, conflict can often get brushed under the mat, to the detriment of the business.
Are you seeking advice regarding a complicated matter of maintaining peace among your employees? If yes, then our experienced HR advisors can help to make sure that disagreements do not arise again and show you and your team the best possible way to move forward/solve your HR problems.
I hope you find the above useful. If you have any questions about the blog or would like to arrange a chat, please contact us at [email protected]